Introduction to Secondary Batteries

published: 2011-03-31 18:15 | editor: | category: Knowledge

Lead Acid Battery

Commonly seen in automobiles and scooters, lead acid battery is a type of secondary battery that has a long history in our daily lives. Lead is used as anode material and lead dioxide is used as cathode material. In addition, sulfuric acid is used as electrolyte material. Lead acid batteries have the advantages of having a simple structure, mature technology, and low manufacturing cost. Therefore, it is widely used in automobile areas and industrial electro mechanical equipments. However, its drawbacks include heavy weight, size, short lifespan, and pollution. These are the reasons why lead acid battery will be replaced in the future.

Nickel Metal Hydride Battery

Nickel hydroxide is used as anode material, and metallic hydrogen is used as cathode material. Water and Potassium Hydroxide are used as electrolyte material. In general, nickel metal hydride batteries underperform in high temperature and memory effect and high self-discharge. However, Japanese manufacturers Sanyo and Panasonic have successfully developed the technology to increase from 500 to 1000 times of charging and discharging. This kind of new technology can make it possible for nickel metal hydride batteries, when fully charged, to have more than 90% of original power after 6 months of initial charging. It is considered a leap in technology advancement because traditional nickel metal hydride batteries would have had 30% of original capacity under the same circumstance. This battery technology is known as low self-discharge and is now commonly used in electric vehicles.

Lithium Battery

Lithium batteries are known for high power capacity, high charging and discharging efficiency, and long life span. It is now commonly used in consumer electronics applications, especially digital cameras, mobile phones and notebooks. Lithium batteries can be categorized by different anode materials such as Li-Co, Li-Mn, and LiMPO4 which has become popular in recent years. Carbon is used as cathode material and LiCIO4 and LiPF6 are used as electrolyte. Li-Co batteries, which account for the majority on market, have to have circuit protection to ensure safety. On top of that, Panasonic and LG both suffered fire accidents that caused shortage in global supply, and manufacturers are now thus actively seeking new development of anode materials.

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